Towards the last quarter of 2013, I had decided to quit my job to focus on my writing. I already had a plot of a novel in my mind. All I wanted to do is write it in peace, away from the grinds of daily routine.
I had started buying the books I thought I needed for researching the background of my story. And I found most of the books I was looking for.
At the office, I had put down my papers and had started serving out my notice period.
That Monday morning, I was just preparing the files that I need to share with the team for knowledge transfer that day. When I got a call from the Mailroom – which handles the deliveries of couriers inside the company campus – I was a little surprised. I have not ordered anything – which basically means books – in the last few days. And I did not remember anyone telling me of anything that they had couriered to me.
I went down to the Mailroom to collect it. After signing for it, when I saw the parcel, it was from my kid sister.
(I have not written about her before because she is so much a part of my life, that writing about her seems impossible; maybe because I still doubt that I am a good enough writer to describe what a great sister she is.
She is that most beautiful surprise that life offers you at the most unexpected moment, making you believe in an all merciful power looking over us, that most beautiful surprise that makes you forgive all the nasty stuff that life has pulled on you before and instead makes you feel kind and humane towards other beings.
She makes me humane and human, makes me feel kindness and empathy. She makes me believe, in myself. When a little angel accepts you as her brother, you realize that you are not as damned as you thought before, or as evil as you were accused by others. Her presence makes me believe in the power of love, and my ability to love someone. She broke the dark, cynical spectacles – through which I had been watching everything; and I could see the beauty of life.)
My kid has sent me a parcel. I was already smiling. I hurried to my desk to open it.
Once I opened it, what do I find? Lying inside, well wrapped is a book. No, not just any book. It was a book that I believed I needed to understand the geographical background of my novel. Unfortunately, the book had gone out of print. No amount of searching of book sellers – online, offline, secondhand – has brought me any luck.
I must have mentioned it to her, about my futile attempts, and also how important that book is for me. That was a month ago. In my hand was now the same book. She remembered it. But I knew that she was busy with her studies. And the book was not on the market.
She must have spent a lot of effort and time on tracking and then buying that book for me, not to mention the monetary cost. (Later, when I insisted, she only mentioned that she got it from abroad.) It was one of the best surprises I have ever received.
Even more than her efforts, it was her belief in my dream. Writing has been a lonely dream for me. But her trust in me, my writing – epitomised in her act - is an even more precious gift to me.
I am still working on my novel. But I also write the occasional short story and send it out to magazines. But no matter, what I am working on, I keep that book right in front of my eyes, on my writing table. And every time I get a rejection email – which is almost too often – I just pick up that book, hold it for sometime, maybe read couple pages, and I could feel that same surge of emotions I felt when I got it. I feel motivated, inspired and I start writing again.
Each gift from my kid sister is very precious, very special to me. But this is the best gift that my Little Angel has gifted me. Her trust that inspires me to pursue my dream.
Now, I believe, I should mention the name of this person. Her name is Priyanka Dey. She is already a renown blogger and poet and short story writer. And she is my Little Angel.